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Jump-Start Your Day

Friday, November 24th, '17

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

BIG BULLY!

"...whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5:39)

 

Yea, yea, yea, Christ was meek and mild, not tough and wild. Note the lily-skinned Shepherd caricature walking amongst little lambs, hanging on the church foyer wall that looks more like Mr. Rogers than the muscled carpenter from Nazareth. That's not the picture we get watching Him drive the moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip or letting the Pharisees have it with both barrels. Jesus was no pushover. He had presence. A battalion of soldiers "drew back, and fell to the ground" (John 18:6) the moment He announced, "I am he". Meekness is not weakness. Jesus stood up to a lot of bully's slaps when He walked this earth.

 

The premise is easily understood; think reconciliation, not retaliation. Jesus kept silent when led as a lamb to the slaughter. When He was reviled He did not revile back (1 Peter 2:23). That too was strength. Any coward can flip obscene hand signals and drive off mad. Jesus turned the other cheek. The Lion of Judah didn't have to prove He was a lion by devouring every Chihuahua that yelped at Him. You'll be lied about, misinterpreted, belittled and sometimes even backhanded but don't think you have to even the score. It's just a bruised cheek; it will heal.

 

But what about playground bullies? Men's ministry speaker John Eldredge writes, "You can't turn a cheek you don't have". The bully that robs your identity shouldn't get a free pass. James told us to "resist the devil". Guys that act like the devil need cold cocked. I remember my Sophomore year when Karen, the gal next locker over that wore Granny Clampet boots and that weird haircut, busted me on the chin. I had learned a neat new word that morning, chapfallen, and related to her so politely, "Karen, you appear so chapfallen today". Bam! The mouthy teenager got put in his place. There...now the whole Internet world knows I got beat up by a 90-pound female. Big bully! 

 

Most Sunday School teachers would have had Karen count to ten then turn it all over to Jesus. I believe she did turn it all over to Jesus and He told her to double up her fist and punch the punk as hard as she could. Of course, in return I...I...I...never teased that girl again. Good for you, Karen! Now if we only had an army of Christians just like her that would quit allowing the devil, Hollywood, the world system, the Libs and peer pressure, et al to push them around. Turning the cheek is fine so long as you have a cheek to turn but often when we try to save face we lose our faces. Better to bruise your knuckles teaching the bully he's just an overgrown calf than to have both cheeks black and blued mistakenly attempting to show the Christ-like spirit. I'm not talking about getting even. You can't get even with the world. It will always call in reinforcements. They that live by the sword will die by it. No matter how big of a bazooka you arm yourself with there will always be someone out there with a bigger one. That's what Jesus is implying. Let God fight your battles. Surrender to His will. Turn the other cheek. But in the case of playground bullies, once we've turned the first and second cheeks He doesn't say what we can or can't do after that.


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